Brookfield School - 14/04/2015

Findings

Reflective leadership and quality teaching has led to high overall levels of achievement. The school has recently opened a Māori immersion unit in order to be more responsive to community aspirations and identity. A feature of the school is its care for students who require extra support.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Brookfield School is a contributing (Yr 1 to 6) primary school in the Brookfield suburb of Tauranga. There are currently 200 students enrolled in the school, approximately 60% of these are Māori, most of whom whakapapa to the local iwi, Ngāti Ranginui.

The school is led by a long serving principal well supported by an experienced and reflective senior leadership team. Staffing remains stable. The board chair is also long serving and trustees bring an appropriate mix of expertise and experience to their governing roles. In response to community aspirations the school opened a Rūmaki Unit at the beginning of 2015.

The schools mission is to provide an environment where each child is valued and supported in a safe world of learning. A recent development has been the opening of a satellite unit for a group of students from the Kaka Street Special School. The school is also attested under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students to provide education for a number of students from overseas. All students benefit from an inclusive and supportive school culture that celebrates diversity.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO. In response to the agreed priorities identified in the 2010 ERO report the school has increased its provision of ICT resources and has strengthened aspects of professional practice intended to increase student leadership of their own learning. School leaders recognise that while progress has been made in these areas, further development is still required.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Brookfield school uses achievement information well to make positive changes to learners' engagement, progress and achievement. ERO was onsite early in the school year and observed classroom teachers making good use of achievement information on their students from the previous year to support continuity of learning. These teachers use the information to identify children’s learning needs and plan programmes to respond to them.

A high proportion of students, including Māori, are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Data reported by the school indicates that overall student achievement is above regional and national comparisons. Parents receive two written reports each year, which are supplemented by numerous opportunities for formal and informal discussions with teachers.

The management of assessment at all levels of the school is effective in making positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. The board is well informed about student achievement and, with the advice of school leaders, sets appropriate charter targets and allocates resources for identified priorities. School leaders analyse school-wide data to identify trends and patterns and take actions to respond to these.

A feature of the school is the identification of, and effective support for, students who require additional support with their learning. As a result of a recent review the school has consolidated the provision and oversight of a number of intervention programmes. This has enabled teachers and the special needs coordinator (SENCO) to be more proactive in assessing students’ needs and accessing the support of external agencies. Teacher aides provide effective day-to-day support for students identified with a diverse range of needs.

There has been a sustained effort to build partnerships with parents to support their children’s learning. This has included curriculum evenings for parents and programmes such as ‘Reading Together’ and ‘Reading Club’.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s broad curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. In cooperation with its community, the school provides a range of opportunities for students to participate and experience success in sporting, musical, cultural and other extra-curricular activities such as camps and trips.

Teachers successfully establish mutually respectful relationships with their students and have high expectations for their learning and behaviour. Classrooms are well resourced, settled, and productive environments. ERO observed teachers using a number of effective strategies to encourage high levels of student engagement in learning programmes. There is an appropriate balance between the focus on literacy and mathematics and other curriculum areas. Integration of literacy with learning in other curriculum areas promotes the use of authentic and relevant contexts for learning.

The school curriculum document includes clear expectations for teachers about good teaching practice. School leaders model and promote ongoing professional learning and development for teachers in line with school-wide priorities. Effective use is made of the expertise and support of the local cluster of schools to increase teacher curriculum knowledge.

Teachers are given opportunities to provide leadership through the delegation of responsibilities for curriculum areas and school activities and initiatives.

ERO and school leaders agree that it would now be beneficial to:

  • develop a strategic plan for e-learning that builds on existing expertise (including students) and resourcing, and utilises local school and community support
  • increase the use of learning progressions and further embed progression based assessment that assists students to understand and lead their own learning.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

English Medium Classes

The school is committed to increasing the sense of belonging for whānau Māori in the school and to supporting the aspirations of Māori parents for their children. To this end the school supports a vibrant and successful kapa haka, and uses tikanga Māori such as karakia in all classes, and pōwhiri. Students receive weekly lessons in te reo Māori provided by a local expert. Teachers try to reinforce these lessons during daily class work. Nearly half the students in the school have also taken up the opportunity for extension classes provided. In response to parent feedback teachers have increased the amount of local tribal and community history taught in classrooms.

Teachers now need to take personal responsibility for increasing their Māori language competency so they can increase the quantity and quality of Māori language provision in classrooms.

Developing a systematic and sequential approach to the teaching of local Māori iwi culture (Ngāitamarāwahotanga) and community history should strengthen the way teachers maintain and enhance students’ identity as Māori and as New Zealanders.

The Māori Medium Class

After an extensive period of consultation and planning during 2014, the school opened a total immersion Māori class at the beginning of 2015, initially for Year 1 to 2 students. There are plans in place to grow this further. The class is run by an experienced and committed team.

There is now a need to develop a plan which strategically addresses foundational aspects of establishing a Māori immersion unit and dual medium education. This plan will include aspects such as a vision, philosophy, and appropriate approaches to teaching and learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Factors that support this include:

  • trustees having a strong, positive and trusting working relationship with the principal and senior leaders.
  • the principal and senior leadership team providing a clear sense of purpose and direction for all aspects of school operations
  • the staff work collaboratively to respond to the academic, social and emotional needs of students, parents and whānau
  • parents having many opportunities to be involved in their children’s education
  • self-review that is effective, evidence based and focused on school improvement.

A key next step for the school is to review the school vision and strategic plan to better reflect community aspirations and create a clear sense of future direction for the school.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this ERO review there were 6 international students attending the school.

Provision of pastoral care, education and also the school’s monitoring systems are all of a high standard.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

In order to improve practice the board should review and clarify how they are assured they are meeting all their legal requirements. This should include the reporting by management to the board on the outcomes of:

  1. teacher appraisal and attestation
    [Good practice re the Primary Teachers’ (Including Deputy and Assistant Principals and Other Unit Holders) Collective Agreement 7 June 2013 – 21 December 2015]
  2. student stand-downs and suspensions
    [Sections 13 – 18, Education Act 1989]
  3. emergency preparedness
    [Good practice re Fire Safety and Evacuation of Building Regulations 2006]
  4. annual financial reporting
    [National Administration Guidelines (NAG) 4]

Conclusion

Reflective leadership and quality teaching has led to high overall levels of achievement. The school has recently opened a Māori immersion unit in order to be more responsive to community aspirations and identity. A feature of the school is its care for students who require extra support.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

14 April 2015

About the School

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

1699

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

196

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Indian

Pacific

61%

23%

6%

6%

4%

Special Features

Kaka Street Special School satellite class Dual Medium provision

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

14 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2010

August 2007

August 2004